30A South Walton unnamed 3 Carol Dickson is Coastal Branch Librarys Featured Artist for AugustFriends of the Coastal Branch Library announced that their featured artist for the month of August is Carol Dickson. Her works will be on display throughout the month.

Carol and her husband, Rob, moved to Santa Rosa Beach from the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 2001. In Maryland, Carol had a hobby that turned into a thriving business, weaving handmade baskets.

Carol has been weaving for over 30 years with reed, grapevines and pine needles. Basket classes are usually held once or twice a month in towns from Crestview to Rosemary Beach. Dickson is still as excited about weaving now as she was when creating her first basket in North Carolina in 1983.

In 2005, Carol took her first watercolor class in Destin.

“When I walked out with a completed painting at the end of the first class, I was hooked,” she recalls.

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30A South Walton web cdl 0420 NEW: Episode 5 of 30A Coastal Dune Lake Documentary Released

The outfall of Western Lake, the coastal dune lake found within Grayton Beach State Park.

Over the past few months, conservationist and documentary filmmakers Elam Stoltzfus and his son Nic Stoltzfus – who comprise the core team at Live Oak Production Group – have been extremely busy taking photos, shooting videos, and posting online updates about their latest documentary project.

30A South Walton Web Elam Med CDL 3690 Timmed NEW: Episode 5 of 30A Coastal Dune Lake Documentary Released

Elam Stoltzfus

They recently received funding for the project from the St. Joe Community Foundation, and are now in full production mode — researching, scripting and filming educational videos that reveal fascinating new details about South Walton‘s rare coastal dune lakes.

The documentary is being created to address public awareness and educational needs that surround these natural treasures. Powerful images are being expertly captured to showcase the natural, cultural, recreational, scientific and educational uniqueness of this coastal dune lake region, and then they’re coupled with fascinating stories that include facts about the rich and colorful history of pre-development here.

The team’s blog features numerous related articles and photo essays, as well as video glimpses of the new project. The first video is a basic and beautiful introduction to our local lakes, while the second video delves deeper and features interviews with experts and locals such as Dr. Sarah Schindele, Ginger Sinton, Clarire Bannerman, Edmond Alexander and Jacquee Markel. The third video installment introduces the Coastal Dune Lakes Advisory Board, comprised of volunteers and professionals who care for these precious natural resources. In the 4th video, various locals describe just how much these natural “jewels” mean to them, while Episode 5 explores the deep spiritual connection that many locals have with these wonders.

Here are 5 video previews of this exciting project-in-progress:

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30A South Walton Lauren Lege Ten Books for Your Beach BagBy Lauren Lege

People come to the beach to relax, and do, well, as little as possible. But after three hours of baking in the sun, you may find your mind looking for an outlet other than staring into a phone that’s probably looking more like a mirror at this point. After visiting with several local bookstores, we got the insider’s opinion of what to read this summer. So, here are 10 great books for your beach bag, as recommended by the staff at Sundog Books, and basically anyone lounging outside of Amavida Coffee with a book in their hand:

30A South Walton The Vacationers UK Ten Books for Your Beach BagThe Vacationers by Emma Straub

Straub describes her book as “an irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family’s two-week stay in Mallorca.” And People magazine says it’s, “Delicious… richly riveting… The Vacationers offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author.”

30A South Walton courtney maum 439678048 Ten Books for Your Beach Bag

Courtney Maum

I’m Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum

Glamour named this book one of the “10 Best Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List Right This Second.” It’s about a “failed monogamist” who tries to woo back his estranged wife in pursuit of the answer to this question: Is it possible to fall back in love with your spouse?

“A great story about love and marriage… Very enchanting, a good beach read.” — TODAY Show

Sarah at Sundog Books shares a few of her recommended reads:

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30A South Walton 10446495 508120332621603 6039379738735754130 n Register Now for the 2014 30A 10K & 1 Mile Fun Run

Registrations are now open for the Third Annual 30A Thanksgiving Day Race & 1 Mile Fun Run to be held on November 27th, 2014.

30A South Walton 1486880 441803552586615 551500286 n Register Now for the 2014 30A 10K & 1 Mile Fun Run

Last year, 30A 10K presented a $40,000 check to Donations 4 Danny, Food For Thought Outreach Inc and Lighthouse Family Retreat.

Mark your calendar for the 30A Thanksgiving 10K and 1 Mile Fun Run because it’s going to be another fantastic race. This year, they’re limiting participation to 3,000 RUNNERS, so secure your spot as soon as possible, especially since this year’s 30A 10K is an official RRCA Championship Race!

Over the years, long-distance running has become synonymous with the noble cause of raising funds for charities, and the 30A 10K is certainly no exception. In fact, the 30A 10K race team has been hard at work to make this year’s race not only a spectacular event, but also to use it as an opportunity to give back to the community in the spirit of the Thanksgiving season.

Since the race’s inception just two years ago, the 30A 10K Charity Race has donated over $58,000 to local non-profits.

If you’re not a runner or walker, you can still get involved in this wonderful 30A tradition! For example, please consider volunteering to help with parking or water stations. If you’re interested in helping, please email the 30A 10k team.

Click here now to register!

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30A South Walton Gulf Place 175 Gulf Place is a Pet Lovers ParadiseWith a sprawling grass amphitheater, plenty of sidewalks, park benches, outdoor dining spaces, and a super-cute cluster of shops that specifically cater to the whims of every pooch, Gulf Place is undoubtedly Scenic Highway 30A’s pet-friendliest place. Unofficially called “Bark Avenue,” this family of pet-centric merchants is on every local pet owner’s speed-dial list.

Furry Fanatics: Pet Supplies

56 Spires Lane, Unit 12A | 850-278-6902 | www.furry-fanatics.com

Furry Fanatics offers a complete and unique selection of all-natural pet foods, treats, supplies and novelties. Owner Julie Brown is simply the kindest, sweetest soul you’ll ever meet, and her genuine passion for all-things-animals is evident from the first moment you walk through the doors. Furry Fanatics also carries official “30A” and “Dogs of 30A” pet gear. Furry Fanatics is the must-stop spot for treats following every grooming and vet visit.

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30A South Walton 10390019 578150238949048 4158902442775107702 n YOLO Board Relay Series Continues at The Bay on Aug 7Standup paddle boarders and fans are loving the 7th Annual YOLO Board Relay Series, presented by Sandcastle Escapes Vacation Rentals and Sales.

The final scheduled races (weather permitting) are set for Thursday, August 7th at The Bay, located at the foot of the 331 bridge in Santa Rosa Beach.


4:30 PM - Special Olympics Florida Athletes Relay
5:30 PM - Women’s Relay
6:00 PM - Men’s Relay
6:30 PM - CoEd Relay

Please arrive early to check-in. Carpooling is recommended, and The Bay will have valet parking available as well as overflow parking across the street. A deputy will be on hand to assist anyone crossing Highway 331. The Bay will of course serve up great food and Grayton Beer will be on-hand with beverages.

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30A South Walton Book Cover 740 x 480 NEW BOOK! Meet Me on 30A by Susan Vallee

Cover Photo by Brandon Babineaux

We are super-excited to announce that our very first 30A book is now hitting local shelves! The book — published by Southwestern Publishing Group — is entitled Meet Me on 30A and it’s written by long-time local resident and author Susan Vallee. 

In the book, Susan delicately blends together Old Florida village life with New Urbanism’s resorts and towns, protected habitats and pristine beaches, as only someone who enjoys it every day could do. But Susan’s certainly not the only local who helped pull together this gorgeous 128-page book.

“The book features stunning images by so many world-class photographers,” said 30A’s Mike Ragsdale, who wrote the book’s foreword. “The book also features over two dozen recipes from 30A’s top chefs and restaurants.”

The book features photography by Lauren Alsobrook, Brandon Babineaux, Jamie Conley, Tommy Crow, Amanda FaganJack Gardner, Sheila Goode, Paul Johnson, Shelly Swanger, Jay Thomas, Jacqueline Ward and Dawn Chapman Whitty among others. The dozens of images found throughout the book perfectly capture the unique beauty of 30A’s communities, rare coastal dune lakes, state parks, local restaurants and shops, signature annual events, and of course, Scenic 30A’s pristine white-sand beaches.

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30A South Walton 110116 WC DECK 001 Fish Out of Water Receives Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator

Fish Out of Water

The famous Fish Out of Water restaurant at WaterColor Inn and Resort just added to its growing list of honors with an “Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator magazine.

Fewer than 3,000 restaurants worldwide make this prestigious list, and the award is bestowed on restaurants that feature an exceptionally well-chosen selection of wine from quality producers, usually offering at least 90 wine selections on the menu.

“Our wine program boasts more than 475 selections,” said Tony Liartis, Director of Food and Beverage at St. Joe Club & Resort’s gulf-front WaterColor Inn and Resort. “Currently, we have 3,649 bottles in our inventory and our goal is to provide guests with an extensive selection of wines from around the globe at a range of prices.”

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